Credentials and Education
Credentialed as a CCCJS-MACe – Certified Clinical Criminal Justice Specialist- Master’s Addiction Counselor (1994) – Now Retired
Licensed by the Texas Dept of Public Safety Private Security Bureau as an Austin and San Antonio Tx Licensed Private Investigator, Lic. # A14972. (2008)
Master’s of Education in Counseling and Guidance (1986) • Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology (North Texas State University)
Over the years, I have been fortunate to have a variety of experiences that produced a “perfect storm” of credentials for an Austin and San Antonio private investigator to specialize in divorce, child custody, cheating spouses, and family law investigations. Early in my career, little did I know that my credentials would later be unique for family law investigation.
In my younger years, I worked several years at Austin State Hospital and later with Austin Travis County MHMR as a therapist and subsequently as a case manager that assisted mentally ill persons through the criminal justice system by making sure they received proper treatment.
The work was both interesting and challenging and it fine tuned my skills as a clinician and mental health professional when dealing with persons with mental health issues, many of whom were in jail or prison or were recently released from incarceration. Around this time, I also worked part time for a Tri-County Probation Department providing drugs and alcohol counseling to persons on probation for DWI’s or for drug and alcohol related offenses.
My years as an Adult Probation Officer and as a Forensic Mental Health Professional
Afterward, I started work as a probation officer for Austin Travis County Adult Probation. Because of my credentials, I was assigned to a probation mental health and sex offender caseload. The work was intense and involved the supervision of mentally ill persons and sex offenders on probation for a variety of offenses: sexual assault, child abuse, child sexual abuse, kidnapping, attempted murder, domestic violence, theft, arson, cruelty to animals, drug and alcohol related offenses and the list goes on and on
The first mandate of a probation officer is to keep the community safe which required a great deal of investigation to keep this population from re-offending. After a few years with Adult Probation, I went back to Austin Travis County MHMR and worked in a busy outpatient clinic as a mental health professional. Most of my work there was evaluation and assessment for persons with mental health issues.
Later, I continued my work as a mental health professional for a specialized MHMR unit that assessed persons in all 3 jails in Austin and made recommendations to the court regarding their outpatient care. I also worked as a Liaison between Austin State Hospital and Austin Travis County MHMR.
Unique Experience in Family Law Investigations
After my work with MHMR, my career in family law began after being hired by the Travis County Domestic Relations Office as a Guardian ad Litem.
Currently,I have been taking Guardian ad Litem appointments for over 16 years. Six of those years were with Travis County, and the rest in private practice as a Guardian ad Litem.
For those of you unfamiliar with the term Guardian ad Litem (GAL), a GAL represents the best interest of children in family law cases. In Austin, a GAL can be appointed by a judge through the Domestic Relations Office in Austin-Travis County or they can be hired privately from a short list of professionals in private practice. On occasion, a judge may appoint a GAL in private practice, but more commonly a GAL is appointed by agreement by the parties and/or their attorneys.
For a simplified explanation of what a Guardian ad Litem does: the mother of the child has her attorney, the father of the child has his attorney, and the child has a Guardian ad Litem to represent his best interest during a family law action.
A Private Investigator who Also Helps Children in Family Law Court
During my work as a Guardian ad Litem I have investigated some of the most complex, difficult, divorce cases imaginable. Statistically, these are in fact the worse of the worst divorce cases. I was required by the Court to make child custody recommendations and represent the best interest of children during court proceedings.
The Guardian’s ad Litem job is intensively investigative by nature and requires extensive knowledge of the Texas Family Law Code. It also requires a high degree of expertise, experience, and credentials in mental health issues, child abuse, child sexual abuse, pornography and how it contributes to divorce, (I’ve personally handle a number of these cases.) assault, domestic violence, assessment of children, and how all these factors relate to a person’s ability to parent during and after a divorce.
To make things a little more complex, these issues are then subject to all the different personalities involved, whether it be Child Protective Services (CPS) position on the issue, the psychologist’s opinion, or how the parties and (especially) their attorneys may view the matter. This is not to mention how the Court, namely the Judge, may feel about a given issue.
Becoming a private investigator and helping the general public with child custody, cheating spouses, and divorce issues was a logical next step.
Let us help You Find the Missing Pieces to Your Child Custody Case
Over the past 17 years, I have testified countless times during bench and jury trials specifically concerning divorce and child custody issues – many of these cases involved cheating spouses as well. I have likely mediated and settled just as many divorce related cases. I’m in the unique position to know the majority of individuals involved in divorce disputes, particularly family law attorneys and I have been before many of the Family law judges in the past. I know the different agencies and generally how they relate with one another. and I am familiar with many of the well-known therapists and psychologists (the ones who specialize in divorce and child custody) in the Austin and San Antonio areas.
Because of my credentials, I feel quite at home investigating issues surrounding divorce and child custody cases and may have insights that no other investigator you hire will have. I not only can tell you what a situation may look like from a private investigator’s point of view but can also tell you how a Guardian ad Litem might view a situation and what impact a given situation may have with the Court. This unique position can be priceless to you and your attorney.
I’ll tell You a Secret…
Over the years as a Guardian ad Litem, I saw many folks hire private detectives without considering the investigator’s credentials. The premise was good but unfortunately, the investigator’s execution was lacking.
Too often, the investigator acted inappropriately, perhaps he became frustrated, and simply turned out to be a harassment for the other party to complain about during the divorce proceedings. I quickly discovered that a typical private investigator knew nothing more about family law or complex child custody issues than how to take pictures – not all private investigators are equal.
After 4 years in private practice as a Guardian ad Litem, I had the insight to expand my services to include private investigation, simply because I believe there is a great need for an investigator in Austin and San Antonio who specializes in this complex area of divorce and cheating spouses that no other private investigator knows from the inside out.
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